The Aces opened on an 8-0 run and never looked back in a 53-42 victory over Ridley on Thursday. LM led 25-14 at the break and by as much as 20 in the second half in playing one of their most complete games of the season. The victory clinched a berth in the Central League playoffs, marking the eighth consecutive year that the Aces have reached the league tournament.
It was an interesting test of resolve for an LM squad that has played well of late, but suffered a stinging setback to the Green Raiders only a night before. The Aces had led that contest by 11 at the break, but watched the game slip away in the second half. On Thursday, the Aces put that loss behind them and bounced back in convincing fashion behind solid team defense, balanced offensive play and contributions from multiple players.
Perhaps most importantly, they delivered when they needed to. When the Green Raiders narrowed an eight-point game to four by the end of the first, the Aces responded with a 6-0 run to start the second quarter. They quickly erased the memory of a scoreless third-quarter on Wednesday by converting on their first opportunity of the second half, keying a decisive 11-2 run. When Ridley cut a 20-point game to 13 at the 4:39 mark in the fourth quarter, KJ Helton ?16 calmly sank a trey and Steve Pendleton ?15 followed with a steal and layup. And when the Dawg Pound needed a little love, Jule Brown '15 drove the lane for an emphatic slam to put an exclamation point on a satisfying and important victory.
With the win, the Aces re-gain sole possession of second place in the Central League heading into their final game of the regular season. LM hosts Upper Darby on Senior Night this Thursday night at 7 PM in KBG.